April 30, 2011


So long, National Poetry Month. Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.

April 21, 2011


O The Oprah Magazine focused on poetry for its April issue. Some lines culled from different articles that weren't part of the featured poetry:

You'll detect a woodsy bouquet
of jasmine, rose, and oak moss,
the way a great poem can move you.
There is always hope —
always tomorrow.
Sometimes I think
being the village idiot helps,
the way a great poem can move you.
As delicate as can be
without ink soaking through.

April 19, 2011


And this year's winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry is Kay Ryan. Here's a brief but good interview. Her brevity and skills at rhyme are to be admired. Wall Street Journal: Kay Ryan AND an example of her work: "Bait Goat."


His talk was like
a curtain of easy rain
between me and the trees,
the light and the shadows on the road.

— Alice Munro, "Lying Under the Apple Tree"
(memoir essay from The New Yorker, 2002)

April 15, 2011


Everybody is waiting
for the end to come,

but what if
it already passed us by?

What if the final joke
of Judgment Day

was that it had
already come and gone

and we were none the wiser?
Apocalypse arrives quietly.

— Jonathan Nolan, "Memento Mori"
(inspiration for film "Memento")

April 10, 2011


Her eyes
the pale gray
of rainwater
in a dish
left on the
window ledge.

— Michael Chabon, "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay"

April 9, 2011


Poems don't have to be that complicated either. Here's a video clip of two Hollywood icons, Jimmy Stewart and Johnny Carson. Stewart reads a simple poem he wrote about his dog, and it's a poem and a reading I'll always remember (especially since I'm a "dog person"). "YouTube: A Dog Named Beau"

April 8, 2011


With the window covered
in plastic sheeting,
he felt as if he were
inside a plastic container,
like a leftover,
peering into the tallow
fog of the world.

— Lorrie Moore, "Debarking"
(New Yorker short story)

April 7, 2011


She was a prism
though which
could be
into its

— Jonathan Safran Foer, "Everything Is Illuminated"

April 6, 2011


Perfect eloquence,
is, I think,

— Stephen King, "Hearts in Atlantis"

April 5, 2011


As Atlanta writer Collin Kelley shows, you never know what you might find in a poem. In this instance, a treasured comic book (whose cover I also recalled fondly) that makes other connections. Here's the link to the original publication of "Secret Origins of the Super-Villains" at the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature.

April 4, 2011


No. You did not pray for things.

like Franklin's key on a kite,
attracted the lightning,
burned at your mind and soul.

— Robert Stone, "Bay of Souls"

April 3, 2011


"Tell him yes,"
she said.

"Even if you are
dying of fear,

even if you
are sorry later,

because whatever you do,
you will be sorry

all the rest of your life
if you say no."

— Gabriel Garcia Marquez, "Love in the Time of Cholera"
(translated by Edith Grossman)

April 2, 2011


The landscape had
a kind of clear
daylight darkness
about it that struck
her as apocalyptic.

— Stephen King, "Desperation"

April 1, 2011

National Poetry Month 2011

Ah, it's National Poetry Month. To kick it off, I present an excerpt from what is likely one of the most well-known contemporary pieces. Here is a touching poem from Lisa Simpson:
I had a cat named Snowball ...
She died!
She died!
Mom said she was sleeping ...
She lied!
She lied!